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How threatening are the new signings (Barker, Vandermeer) to the 3rd pairing incumbents (Ballard, Tanev)?


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#1 Phil_314

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:08 PM

With the signings of the 6'3", 223 lb. Cam Barker and the 6'1", 210 lb. Jim Vandermeer, the team now has four NHL-caliber defensemen fighting for spots on the 3rd pairing. These candidates (Barker, Vandermeer, Tanev, Ballard) bring different assets but also have their own shortcomings.

Barker- strong shot, good physicality, yet is not good defensively nor a good skater (did put up 40 points in 69 several seasons ago)


Ballard- highest potential reward (has put up 30 points but in bigger roles), yet comes at high price and is seen as being underutilized for his role (plus he sometimes has defensive lapses); could benefit from getting new opportunity as a Top 4 man on another team but also provides skilled depth... oh, and MASSIVE hip checks

Vandermeer- physical, somewhat stay-at-home type, can put up modest point totals but slow and takes penalties

Tanev- safe and steady, can move the puck YET doesn't play physically nor is he the best equipped to be shutdown man (and his shot definitely needs work)


I think in terms of playing styles Barker could potentially be an upgrade on Ballard for the role he plays, plus he comes at a lower cost. Vandermeer, with his physicality, size, okay defense and not-bad point scoring (he put up 14 points two seasons ago) should, in my opinion, put him as a viable option for the 3rd pairing (though the reason I say this is that Tanev could benefit from having more opportunities to play offense and work on his shot in the AHL in a top-pairing role rather than getting limited to a stick-checking role with limited touches of the puck, since Ballard does all the puck-moving).

I actually wouldn't mind seeing (given that they prove themselves as being capable at camp)

Barker - Tanev (presuming Ballard gets traded, Barker should be able to fill in at least to some capacity, plus he's got more size to really handle the tough going; again, if Tanev's not developing offensively (it's not that likely that he would on the 3rd pairing anyways) I wouldn't hesitate to bring up Vandermeer to take the strictly defensive minutes).

I think these two can actually balance each other out quite well; Barker can hammer the puck, Tanev can't really; Barker can play physically, Tanev isn't built for it; Tanev can skate and move the puck safely (he'd be driving the play from the back end instead of the then-departed Ballard) and Tanev can cover Barker's mistakes. Sounds like a pretty solid pairing to me.

How do you see the bottom pairing shaping up? What's the reasoning for your pairing?

Edited by g@m3b0i, 14 January 2013 - 11:13 PM.

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#2 MoneypuckOverlord

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

very little threat. They are just depth signings, and Barker is just a mini project.
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#3 wallstreetamigo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:11 PM

Barker is kind of a pilon though........I actually think a Barker-Ballard pairing might be the best combination of those 4 guys you mention.

In terms of potentially being what the team needs and in order to get both players back on track to contribute the way they can at the NHL level of course.....:)

Edited by wallstreetamigo, 14 January 2013 - 11:14 PM.

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#4 TheEhrhoffEffect

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:12 PM

Ballard>Barker
Tanev>Vandermeer
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#5 Hugemanskost

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

Extremely threatening. This is exactly what the Canucks need... some competition for positions on D. It's healthy and makes all players more hungry to earn / keep their spots. If one guy is struggling, there are 3 or 4 guys waiting to fill the spot. Depth is awesome!
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#6 Zoolander

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:14 PM

Tanev has been a great shut-down player in the AHL, I think with his poise, his 3rd pairing spot is secure.

Barker is a depth guy and isnèt better than Ballard. He is however better than Alberts though (more skilled, and less dumb penalties)

Only guy is could see challenging Ballard for his spot is Vandermeer.

I like both Ballard and Vandermeer though, so whoever gets the spot is alright with me
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#7 samurai

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:15 PM

people are going to get injured so its not an either or. Of the two new signings Vandermeer is a nice addition in that we just got a legit policeman on the team now. you put him in at times and guys on the other team will have to stop and think a bit if they want to be causing trouble.

Edited by samurai, 14 January 2013 - 11:16 PM.

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#8 CanucksSayEh

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:17 PM

Tanev > the rest of em.
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#9 ILL BILL NECRO

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:22 PM

Tanev > the rest of em.


fail.
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#10 Garrison

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:30 PM

I hear Ottawa is looking for a defense man. If MG pulls the trigger and trades Ballard than we have a lot of cap space for Edler and any other UFA or player we could pick up in a trade.
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#11 cmpunk

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:33 PM

Well who knows with AV, he might bench Ballard for no reason.

Ballard is MUCH better than all of them.
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#12 honey badger36

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

I don't think threatening at all we will need the depth incase Ballard or Tanev need to move up the depth chart they were brought in as injury replacements that is all. they will do very well to get 15 games each
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#13 Noheart

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:40 PM

Ballard>Barker
Tanev>Vandermeer


Vandermeer has an element we don't have on this team.
Tanev is safe and reliable but isn't tough or offensively gifted.
I like Vandermeer a lot he will be the new Rome mark my words
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#14 Tangerines

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:40 PM

No threat. These are just depth signings just in case of injuries. AV can also use these guys a acordingly, depending on whom they're playing.. Just gives AV different options for certain matchups.

Edited by JohnLennon, 14 January 2013 - 11:42 PM.

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#15 Provost

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:52 PM

If Barker could get his head on straight he has all the size and tools to to be a top 4 guy... he has shown no sign of it for a long while though. He is kind of like the D version of Taylor Pyatt. I remember 2 or 3 games when Pyatt dominated the entire ice with his combination of size and skill.... unfortunately those were sandwiched between a couple of hundred mediocre and terrible games. At best you could reasonably hope that Barker regains form to be good enough to be a #5-6 guy.

I suspect that Ballard and Tanev have to play themselves out of the lineup to be really threatened.

It does open up the possibility of trades though and getting some moving parts to fit in to make a complete roster. If for some reason we couldn't get a top 6 forward for Luongo... but could find a trading partner get a top 4 Right hand shot D... then we have lots of options to trade any/all of Edler/Ballard/Tanev to get a top 6 forward.
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#16 Noheart

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:01 AM

If Barker could get his head on straight he has all the size and tools to to be a top 4 guy... he has shown no sign of it for a long while though. He is kind of like the D version of Taylor Pyatt. I remember 2 or 3 games when Pyatt dominated the entire ice with his combination of size and skill.... unfortunately those were sandwiched between a couple of hundred mediocre and terrible games. At best you could reasonably hope that Barker regains form to be good enough to be a #5-6 guy.

I suspect that Ballard and Tanev have to play themselves out of the lineup to be really threatened.

It does open up the possibility of trades though and getting some moving parts to fit in to make a complete roster. If for some reason we couldn't get a top 6 forward for Luongo... but could find a trading partner get a top 4 Right hand shot D... then we have lots of options to trade any/all of Edler/Ballard/Tanev to get a top 6 forward.


I hope I eat my words but if he cant make it in Edmonton then I dont see him making it here.

you can add him to the draft shame list.
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#17 SOB for MVP

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:11 AM

Dont see a threat to Ballard

I do see it as an issue for Tanev and Alberts
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#18 disisdayear

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:13 AM

people are going to get injured so its not an either or. Of the two new signings Vandermeer is a nice addition in that we just got a legit policeman on the team now. you put him in at times and guys on the other team will have to stop and think a bit if they want to be causing trouble


Though the grit and tough factor goes up with Vandermeer, I would suggest that he doesn't qualify as a legit policeman. He'll drop and chuck 'em, so he is an upgrade on Alberts, but not so much when compared to Ballard or Tanev.

With AV being on record that he's looking for puck movement and mobility from the back end, I see Ballard, Tanev and Barker being ahead of Vandermeer. In spite of that, I like that Vandermeer adds an element that is missing (i.e., sandpaper grittiness that can neutralize punks like Bolland, Dorsett, Tootoo). The other thing Vandermeer offers is that he can slot in a fourth line LW, which would allow Canucks to dress 7 d-men in the odd game it may be required. Wouldn't it be great if you could fuse Vandermeer's pugnacity and 210 lbs. with Tanev's vision and quick puck movement out of the zone into one player?

With the stockpiling of depth on defense, one can't wonder if something is brewing on the player transaction front...if anyone is moved, I'd like it to be Alberts, but will most likely be Ballard...subject to being 100% healthy, I can see Ballard regaining his PHX form and making a bigger contribution than he has in the past two seasons, so I would have mixed feelings about seeing him moved.
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#19 canucklehead44

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

You pretty much listed them in order of risk/reward.

Barker is very high risk, high reward (not factoring in salaries). High end potential - Good second pairing, power play specialist, physical 40-50 point guy. Low end potential - bottom pairing AHL.

Ballard is high risk high reward. High end potential - second pairing, 30 point defenseman, kills penalties, blocks shots, can step in for big minutes. Low end potential - bottom pairing with defensive lapses and low point totals.

Vandermeer is low-medium risk, low-medium reward. High end potential - number 5 defenseman, 20 points, physical, and solid defensively. Low end potential - healthy scratch/second pairing AHL. Liability due to lack of foot speed and penalities.

Tanev is low risk, low reward. High end potential - reliable and steady number 4 defenseman/minute cruncher. 20 points. Low end potential - 6/7 defenseman who can put in 10-15 minutes per game without screwing up. Outmatched physically, zero offence.

Vandermeer and Tanev are pretty equal, although you could easily argue Tanev is higher risk/reward due to his youth, but considering he has played in Vancouver for awhile I give Vandermeer the edge.

Edited by canucklehead44, 15 January 2013 - 01:19 AM.

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#20 Trelane42

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:41 AM

I doubt Ballard or Tanev have much to fear from either of these guys.


But it is a harsh indictment of Connauton and Sauve. The organization can’t make it any clearer that it thinks neither is fit to wear the uniform anytime soon.
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#21 Brodeur

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:43 AM

Barker- strong shot, good physicality, yet is not good defensively nor a good skater (did put up 40 points in 69 several seasons ago)


I thought we were trying to get younger players, lol. Kidding aside, Hope he and other players surprise us this year. It all depends on how much chemistry they can build between each others' playing style.
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#22 Baggins

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:46 AM

They'll be carrying 8 d-men on the active roster. So somebody will be the odd man out.
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#23 JamesB

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 01:49 AM

Tanev > the rest of em.


We have seen strong statements about various players being better than the others.

However, on the numbers (which I admit are not the whole story), Tanev is better than the others when you adjust for age. Unlike the others, Tanev is still improving rapidly. In the AHL this year (playing against a lot of NHL players during the lockout) he continued to be excellent defensively and was doing better offensively. And he is bigger (i.e. heavier) and stronger than last year. His advantage over Ballard is that Ballard is mistake-prone, whereas Tanev rarely makes a mistake.

Tanev would be worth far more in a trade than any of the others.

The downside of Tanev is that he does not play a physical game.

Vandermeer is available to add energy and muscle when needed. He will not threaten Tanev for a regular spot.
Barker is a project. He may or may not pan out.

And don't forget Alberts.

Someone has to go, of course. The team can carry at most 8 D's on the 23 man roster. My guess is that Ballard gets traded. His cap hit is just way too high given his role on the Canucks. He could play top 4 on some teams, however.
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#24 Provost

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:01 AM

I hope I eat my words but if he cant make it in Edmonton then I dont see him making it here.

you can add him to the draft shame list.


I think the difference is that here he is going to get very sheltered minutes with a great D core above him. It is a lot different lining up in the defensive zone against top lines than it is going against 3rd/4th line guys in neutral zone/offensive zone situations. He played more than 18 minutes a game in Edmonton... here when he gets into the lineup, he will be at maybe 12-14 on a 3rd pairing (maybe with some PP time on the 2nd unit).

Our D has worked great for a long time but we have seen when injuries happen how bad some of our guys look when too much is asked of them in terms of minutes and opponents. Barker would look bad in a top pairing, but maybe looks like a star when defending against the opposing team's 4th line plugs.

If there is anywhere that he will be able to find his game it should be here. Our system seems like it is tailored to his strengths.

I have my doubts too though... he probably knows this is likely his last stop before being out of the league if he can't carve himself a role.

Edited by Provost, 15 January 2013 - 02:17 AM.

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#25 oldnews

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 02:12 AM

Both Ballard and Tanev are quality third pairing guys - Ballard is able to step up into the top 4 in the event of injury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same proves true of Tanev at this point. I think they are clearly the third pairing.
I still see Alberts as the best 7th man.
Vandermeer imo is more of a 'situational' signing, who will likely see ice time against particular opponents.
Barker - insurance, no harm in having him around, no expectations, perhaps surprise us playing in this system.
I also think these guys are being signed because Connauton and Sauve haven't forced the issue.
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#26 Fozzy

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:09 AM



Both Ballard and Tanev are quality third pairing guys - Ballard is able to step up into the top 4 in the event of injury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same proves true of Tanev at this point. I think they are clearly the third pairing.
I still see Alberts as the best 7th man.
Vandermeer imo is more of a 'situational' signing, who will likely see ice time against particular opponents.
Barker - insurance, no harm in having him around, no expectations, perhaps surprise us playing in this system.
I also think these guys are being signed because Connauton and Sauve haven't forced the issue.


I bet Connauton was thinking he would of been first call up this season. Now with Barker and Vandermeer that isn't a gimme. Being paired with Joslin for most of the wolves games has sure dented his chances.

I'm thinking he could possibly be a name involved in trade talks what with Corrado and McNally in our system.

Edited by Fozzy, 15 January 2013 - 04:11 AM.

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#27 Bodee

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:25 AM

For me after his season end and then the playoffs it has to be Ballard and anyone of 3/4. Ballard is a "given" on his natural side. Fast.....very fast, smooth skater, carries well, and has a great shot when he uses it which is not enough imo. Personally I could see Vandermeer and Tanev alternating, meaning Vandermeer plays where extra "pushback" is required.

And lets remember Ballard is no pushover in that department either.

One last point Tanev plays much better with Ballard. (who is quick to cover) He was frankly disappointing down in Chicago where he often looked all over the place. It is no coincidence that the Wolves D has tightened up with the departure of both he and Conn.

Edited by Bodee, 15 January 2013 - 04:26 AM.

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#28 RBCanucks

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:26 AM

I don't view these signings as too much of a threat to Tanev. Barker is a solid depth signing and Vandermeer adds some grit and toughness to our back end and essentially replaces Rome as A.V.s forbidden love child.

Ballard should be very scared for his job, if he isn't traded he will be bought out before next season. I really like Ballard as a bottom D pairing guy but his $4.2 million paycheque for the role he plays on our team is an absolute joke. I will miss him but considering how we are going to be desperate next season to find cap space I think it's fair to say that we will be choosing to re-sign Edler over giving him more chances to prove himself.

I was crunching the numbers and even IF we trade Luongo and manage to re-sign Edler at a massive discount ($4.6 cap hit) we will be barely under the cap with 23 skaters. We also have to re-sign a number of key role players. Lapierre, Higgins, and Tanev need to be re-signed and are arguably due for raises. We have to figure out what to do with Malhotra and Raymond (key factor is what will it cost to replace them?).

Signed with us through next season:
Daniel ($6.1)
Henrik ($6.1)
Kesler ($5)
Burrows ($4.5)
Booth ($4.25)
Hansen ($1.35)
Hamhuis ($4.5)
Bieksa ($4.6)
Garrison ($4.6)
Ballard ($4.2)
Luongo ($5.3)
Schnieder ($4)
-------
Total: $54.5 million committed to 10 skaters + 2 goalies

Contracts ending this season:
Edler ($3.25) - Due for a massive raise
Higgins ($1.9) - Due for a raise
Lapierre ($1) - Due for a raise
Tanev ($900k) - Due for a raise

Biggest Question Marks:
Malhotra ($2.5) - Comes at a discount
Raymond ($2.275) - Comes at a discount

Depth guys:
Weise ($615k)
Volpatti ($600k)
Ebbett (600k)
Barker ($700k)
Vandermeer ($600k)
Alberts ($1.225) - I don't see us resigning him unless he takes a pay cut

After all is said and done we only have 10 skaters signed through next season and I don't see any situation, other than letting Edler walk, where Ballard remains with the team with his cap hit. Granted if Luongo is moved it leaves us with a little more flexibility but given that the cap is only $64.3 million next season we only have $9.8 million (w/ Luongo)/$15.1 million (w/o Luongo) to sign or re-sign 11 roster spots. Just don't see Ballard making it passed June and given the way Redden and Gomez have been treated by their clubs we may see Ballard told to stay home after we sort out our D situation in training camp.

Edited by rbcanucks87, 15 January 2013 - 04:56 AM.

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#29 Bodee

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 04:28 AM

Both Ballard and Tanev are quality third pairing guys - Ballard is able to step up into the top 4 in the event of injury, and I wouldn't be surprised if the same proves true of Tanev at this point. I think they are clearly the third pairing.
I still see Alberts as the best 7th man.
Vandermeer imo is more of a 'situational' signing, who will likely see ice time against particular opponents.
Barker - insurance, no harm in having him around, no expectations, perhaps surprise us playing in this system.
I also think these guys are being signed because Connauton and Sauve haven't forced the issue.


Exactly!
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#30 DownUndaCanuck

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:57 AM

Vandemeer should make the team. All do respect to Tanev, I'd rather have a veteran defence going into the playoffs with Ballard and Vandemeer on our bottom pairing than Tanev, purely because of experience and toughness. Heck, even Barker over Ballard due to size, and Alberts getting in there would be nice too.

This defence was roughed up by huge forwards in the Boston series and LA series which is why we were bounced. Our defence were pounded every shift until they buckled, made pressure mistakes and cost us great scoring opportunities against our goalies.

Just being big, not necessarily physical, means guys like Barker can withstand a physical forecheck and not turn pucks over if he gets hit by a big guy like Kopitar or Lucic as opposed to smaller defencemen like Bieksa, Ballard and Tanev who were physically broken down as a series went on.

For the regular season:

Edler - Garrison
Hamhuis - Bieksa
Ballard - Tanev

For the playoffs (if all healthy):

Edler - Garrison
Hamhuis - Bieksa
Vandemeer - Barker
Alberts

In case of injuries (for example, an injured Hamhuis and injured Edler):

Bieksa - Garrison
Ballard - Vandemeer
Tanev - Barker
Alberts
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